Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close (above) convincingly plays a woman who dresses like a man in order to nab some employment in 19th-century Ireland.
But it’s the kind of stunt that can also nab you awards consideration.
Here are some other actors who switched genders (or donned drag) and grabbed Oscar recognition.
This article from the
Village Voice Archive was posted on December 12, 2011
MARLENE DIETRICH's only nomination was for playing a smoky cabaret singer in 1930's MOROCCO. This was her come-as-you-are look.
JUDY GARLAND in the classic musical A CROSS-DRESSER IS BORN
JACK LEMMON went undercover as a lady in the 1959 screwball classic SOME LIKE IT HOT. He was nominated for Best Actor, but didn't win. "Nobody's perfect."
CHRIS SARANDON got a supporting nomination for 1975's DOG DAY AFTERNOON, in which Chris's sexual reassignment surgery was being paid for by hubby Al Pacino's bank robbing. It was like Bonnie & Christine Jorgensen.
Best Actor nominee DUSTIN HOFFMAN found he was much better liked as Dorothy in 1982's cross-dress classic TOOTSIE. Been there.
The same year as Tootsie, JULIE ANDREWS got a nomination for playing a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman pretending there are bugs in the food in VICTOR/VICTORIA.
LINDA HUNT was riveting as a guy (the petite, half-Chinese photographer Billy Kwan) in 1983's YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. Linda deservedly won Best Supporting Actress -- yes, Actress.
WILLIAM HURT nabbed Best Actor for 1985's KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, playing the campy, imprisoned queen with a taste for Hollywood kitsch. Brava!
GWYNETH PALTROW copped Best Actress for 1998's SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, in which all's well that ends male.
HILARY SWANK copped her first of two Oscars for playing Brandon Teena, a biological girl living as a boy, in 1999's BOYS DON'T CRY. An astounding performance full of heart and conviction.
FELICITY HUFFMAN was nominated for Best Actress for the 2005 road trip TRANSAMERICA, in which her son didn't know that his dad was now his mother. Felicity made a believable transsexual.
CATE BLANCHETT was nominated for playing Bob Dylan in 2007's I'M NOT THERE. Strangely, her Oscar win was for playing a woman! (Katie Hepburn.)